Decades of doubt over how to spell Devon town's name
HOW Cullompton got its name has rarely been disputed, with most accepting that it is borne from being the town on the River Culm.
But how this name should be spelled is a different story, one which was the subject of debate for more than 200 years before a decision was made.
From around 1677 it was either spelt 'Cullompton' or 'Cullumpton' and by the middle of the 19th Century there still appeared to be no agreement on the spelling, discovered Judy Morris, who compiled The Second Book of Cullompton.
The Post Office had it down as the variation which is currently being used today, which differed from the sign at the railway station; 'Collumpton', and the Ordnance Survey referred to it as Cullumpton. The Bristol and Exeter Railway Timetable also referred to it as both 'Cullompton' and 'Collumpton'.
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Following historical research into the town during the 1860s and '70s, attention was placed on the spelling.
It was thought that it was Squire WC Grant of Hillersdon House who encouraged everyone to fall into line and adopt 'Cullompton' as the spelling.
The minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company held on September 21, 1974, agreed that "in all timetables, tickets etc. in future, the name of the town be spelt 'Cullompton'.
Between 1861 and 1862, James Murray Foster researched the history of Cullompton and in 1878 he compiled a list of 40 different ways the name of the town had been spelled during 1,000 years since 872, when it was known as 'Columtune' and 'Colomton' in 1651.
The name of the River Culm was thought to have been named after St Colomba of Tir-de-Glas, who came to the area from Ireland at around 450AD to preach and to convert local people to Christianity.
He was thought to have set up a 'preaching station' at St George's Well, near the river, which became known as 'Colomba's River' which changed to 'Colme' and then 'Culm'.
The Second Book of Cullompton says: "St Colomba and his companion St Disen established their 'hut' around a settle, or 'tun' of huts.
"The Celtic name of 'Columtune' and later 'Colombton' (Colomba's tun, or town) was bestowed upon his settlement.
"Nearby was an ancient holy well, now known as St George's Well, and it is thought that a chapel was built there and dedicated to St George, although there is no trace of it today."